Mojitos are a refreshing, classic Cuban cocktail made with rum, sugar and muddled (or crushed) mint leaves. And while this version is most common, you can find dozens of different varieties made with every fruit under the sun. I love the traditional version, but when dreaming of a drink to pair with an outdoor summer Shabbat dinner, I wanted to take it up a notch: with bright, beautiful mango.
The weather in Cuba is almost always warm and sunny and kind of awesome, which means they have an abundance of delicious tropical fruit year-round. But from all the stories my mother shared with me about her summers in Cuba as a child, I know that fresh, juicy mango was the fruit of the season.
Mango juice not only adds sweetness to the light drink, but a vibrant pop of color. Serve this with fresh chunks of mango, tons of fresh mint and, if you want to get really crazy, some chili lime flavored salt. It’s the perfect way to start a picnic, relax with girlfriends during the afternoon or kick off a joyful Shabbat meal.
½ cup superfine sugar
¾ cup fresh mint leaves
2 11.5oz cans of mango nectar
club soda (up to 1 liter)
½ cup white rum (like Bacardi)
1 fresh mango, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp chile lime seasoning blend (optional)
In a large pitcher, add the sugar and mint leaves. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, gently bruise the mint into the sugar, releasing it’s essential oils. This is called muddling.
Add the mango nectar, club soda, rum, and the juice from the limes. Stir to combine.
Pour into glasses with ice and garnish with the mango chunks. (an optional dash of chile lime seasoning blend adds a southern California flair).
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.